Patent Law

Troll Tracker Outs Himself, $15K Reward Remains Unclaimed

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The anonymous author of the Patent Troll Tracker blog has revealed that he is Richard Frenkel, an intellectual property lawyer who is a director in Cisco Systems’ IP group.

Frenkel said he decided to out himself after he received an e-mail threat from someone who threatened to go public with his identity, the Recorder reports. Many patent lawyers told the legal publication they considered the blog to be required reading.

Chicago lawyer Raymond Niro had recently increased his reward offer to $15,000 to anyone who could provide him with the Troll Tracker’s identity. So far, no one has stepped forward to claim the reward. “Whoever did it did it not for the purposes of making money but rather for the purposes of exposing him,” he told the Recorder.

Niro had offered the bounty because Troll Tracker had criticized his firm for representing “patent trolls,” which own patents without making products. Frenkel said in a post revealing his identity that he started his blog because of the lack of information about trolls.

“When I started the blog, I did so mainly out of frustration,” Frankel wrote. “I was shocked to learn that a huge portion of the tech industry’s patent disputes were with companies that were shells, with little cash and assets other than patents and a desire to litigate, and did not make and had never made any products. Yet when I would search the Internet for information about these putative licensors, I could find nothing.”

Frenkel is weighing whether to continue the blog. He said only his direct manager at Cisco, which holds more than 5,000 patents, knew of his anonymous blogging.

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